Preventing Bad Breath When Wearing Face Masks
Whether you like them or not, face masks are necessary for our individual and collective safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. One not-so-great aspect of masks is that we are suddenly confronted with our own breath. Fact is, we may not like what we smell. So what can be done about it?
Experienced dentist Dr. Bruce Wilderman has gotten a lot of questions about controlling bad breath from people in Doylestown, Philadelphia, and Bucks County, PA. Artistic Expressions Dentistry has some tips and oral hygiene advice for preventing bad breath while wearing face masks.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling fresh. When it comes to good oral hygiene, we recommend the following:
- Tip #1: Brush twice a day, for at least two minutes. The length of time spent cleaning is crucial. Cover all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly, and do not forget about hard-to-reach places at the back of the mouth. Brush after each meal for maximum cleanliness.
- Tip #2: Brush more than just your teeth. Make sure you brush your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. Oral bacteria can grow there as well.
- Tip #3: Use a soft brush. Soft bristles will keep your gums healthy. Harder bristles can lead to gum inflammation and periodontal disease, which exacerbates bad breath.
- Tip #4: Don’t forget to floss. Flossing removes the food particles and plaque caught between your teeth. Traditional floss and water flossing are both effective. Be sure to floss at least once a day; floss after every meal for maximum freshness.
Consider Using Mouthwash
An antibacterial mouthwashhelps fight bad breath, cavity-causing bacteria, and bacteria that can lead to gingivitis. Think of mouthwash as an excellent way to finish off your oral hygiene routine. Try to use a mouthwash without alcohol, as alcohol can cause dry mouth, which makes bad breath worse.
Since dry mouth can make bad breath worse, be sure to drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth wet and properly hydrated. Water also helps remove food particles caught on or between teeth.
Avoid Mouth Breathing
While no one will notice you mouth breathing with a mask on, it can make your breath worse. Mouth breathing dries out the mouth, which creates an ideal environment for oral bacteria. Try to breathe through your nose instead.
Visit Your Dentist for Cleanings and Checkups
To keep plaque and tartar and bay, we suggest coming in for a cleaning every six months. Seeing your dentist twice a year means catching cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems early.
Quick Fixes While Traveling
If you are out and about and notice bad breath as you put your mask on, there are plenty of ways to quickly freshen it up:
- Sugar-free gum: A minty, sugar-free gum can clean food residue from your teeth and promote mouth moisture. Avoid sugar so the oral bacteria has nothing to feast on.
- Mouthwash: A mint-flavored mouthwash can do wonders for your breath. Keep a small bottle handy for a quick rinse when you need it.
- Mint strips: For a quick blast of freshness, mint strips are effective. Because they are placed directly on the tongue, these are highly effective at penetrating and masking offending odors while eliminating bacteria.
Contact Artistic Expressions Dentistry
Want to know more about preventing bad breath? Or are you interested in exploring dental procedures that can help you alleviate it? Give us a call at (215) 631-8505 or go online to schedule an appointment today.